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Osama bin Laden wanted to repeat 9/11, target oil tankers: Documents

Declassified documents show that the slain Al Qaeda chief was very enthusiastic about replicating the 9/11 terror attack. 

Osama bin Laden wanted to repeat 9/11 attack, target oil tankers: Documents
New York, First Published Apr 25, 2022, 8:54 PM IST

Global terrorist Osama Bin Laden did not think that the United States will go berserk and take down his organisation and affiliates operating from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan post 9/11 attacks that killed about 3,000 people in 2001, a report has revealed. 

About a dozen US Navy SEALs seized Laden's secret documents post his neutralisation in Pakistan's Abbottabad in 2011. The secret documents, which were declassified recently, revealed that Osama had also planned a second terror attack soon after the 9/11 attacks. The papers, which were examined by the author and Islamic scholar Nelly Lahoud, explained how Osama encouraged other Al-Qaeda leaders to use private jets instead of passenger aircraft to conduct the next attack.

Nelly Lahoud who is also a keen researcher on Al-Qaeda went through thousands of Osama Bin Laden's personal letters and notes that were seized by the US Navy SEALs 11 years ago in Pakistan. 

Nelly also explained that Osama was surprised by the manner in which the United States carried out attacks in Afghanistan. As per the declassified papers, she said, the Al-Qaeda leader was of the view that American citizens will take to the streets and would just put pressure on their government to withdraw from the Muslim-majority country. 

The documents further added that Osama did not establish contact with his associates for three years since the United States was behind him. He reconnected with his associates in 2004 only to carry out another attack in the United States as he was very enthusiastic about replicating the 9/11 attack. 

Knowing that carrying out another attack using aircraft is difficult, the Al-Qaeda chief proposed to target US railways. 

According to Nelly, Osama wanted his cadre to remove 12 metres of steel rail to derail train and for that, he gave them a simple toolkit. The toolkit urged them to use a compressor or a smelting iron tool. 

She further added Osama had masterminded another attack in 2010 to target multiple crude oil tankers and major shipping routes in the Middle East and Africa. He had suggested the operatives pose themselves as fishermen around the port areas. He had even instructed cadres on where to procure specific boats that could escape the radar.

After Osama's death, the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda is being run by his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

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